The ongoing armed conflict in Jammu and Kashmir has claimed a total of 41,000 lives in the past 27 years which means an average of 4 deaths per day in the state or 1519 casualties every year, according to the latest available government data, Hindustan Times reported today.
However, some estimates put the number of civilians killed since 1989 at 70,000, the Guardian reported in 2016.
It is also unclear whether the official data include the disappeared persons of the region.
In 2011, Al Jazeera reported that Buried Evidence, a report published by the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir in 2009, said that around “8,000 plus” people have disappeared in the region.
The casualties include 14,000 civilians, 5,000 security personnel and 22,000 militants between 1990 and March 2017. In all, there have been 69,820 militancy-related incidents during the period; that’s like the state witnessing 2586 militancy incidents every year, for which India blames cross-border terror from Pakistan, the report said.
“Although not on the same scale as in the 1990s or early 2000s, militancy-related incidents have been increasing after 2014. From 2014 to March this year, there have been 795 militancy-related incidents in which 397 militants were killed while 64 civilians and 178 security personnel lost their lives. Compared to 222 incidents in 2014, there were 322 incidents in 2016. In 2014, 28 civilians and 47 security personnel and 110 militants were killed in these incidents. In 2016, these numbers were 15, 82 and 150,” the report said.
“The elimination of Burhan Wani has increased the sense of alienation among a section of Kashmiri youth. This has created a fertile ecosystem for the anti-India sentiment and ideology to gain strength. Concurrently the inability of the ruling alliance in Srinagar to provide a credible and empathetic political intervention is palpable,” Uday Bhaskar, Strategic affairs expert Commodore was quoted by HT as saying.
As per the data, 2001 has been the most volatile year and saw the killing of highest number of militants and security forces. While 2020 militants were gunned down, 536 security personnel 996 civilians were also killed in the year that registered the highest number of 4522 militancy related incidents as well, the report said.
But in terms of civilian casualties, 2002 has been the worst with 1008 deaths. Besides 1707 militants, 453 security personnel were also killed that year, the report said.
From 1999 to 2003, 7820 militants, 2055 security personnel and 4519 civilians were killed in Jammu and Kashmir, the report quoted the official data.
The National Conference was then in power in the state with Farooq Abdullah as the chief minister.
Post-1990, the second most tumultuous phase in the state was between 1993 and 1997 when 6522 militants were eliminated while 4910 civilians and 1012 security personnel lost their lives, the report added.
Militancy witnessed a steady decline from 2004 onwards till 2014 with a sharp decrease in the number of killings.
In 2013, there were only 170 militancy-related incidents in the strife-torn state in which 67 militants, 15 civilians and 53 security personnel were killed.
“The statistics are cause for deep concern and merit objective review and appropriate redress…. I am skeptical. When was the last time the legislature in Delhi or Srinagar had a meaningful discussion on Kashmir issue?” asked Bhaskar.
From 2004 to 2014, the Congress-led UPA government was in power at the Centre while the Peoples’ Democratic Party-Congress alliance ruled Jammu and Kashmir from 2002 to 2008.
In 2008, the National Conference and the Congress formed a coalition government and chief minister Omar Abdullah remained at the helm till 2014.